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Old 09-07-2011, 04:35 AM   #1
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Mojave Overnighter

Had my dad and brother in from Australia for a few weeks. We had planned on taking the van to Pismo to camp and rent some quads in the dunes but it was pretty cool there. My dad wanted to head out to his old riding area in the Mojave from years ago where it was warmer so off we went. Camped at a spot that used to have some great riding before the BLM closed much of it.

It was around 100 degrees so we just arrived late afternoon, BBQ'd some great steaks and listened to some tunes as we caught up on life throughout the night. The cabins used to be adopt a cabins that friends would stay in on riding trips but it seems they have been shot up and trashed in the last 6 or so years, sad. We did have a rabbit friend come running up to join us for dinner.

Avoided a near possible tragedy with my Colorado Camper Van built top bunk bed partially collapsing. I was down below sitting on the front of the futon reaching for a sleeping bag as my brother was climbing up onto the top bunk when the last two wheel pins/bolts? appear to have just snapped causing my brother and the bed to come crashing down. So lucky I was leaning foward as the bed is heavy and metal framed so if someone was actually asleep and that hit them it could have been over, for good. Or at least some serious injuries going on, not good.

Very scary and it really shook my brother up a bit. Not sure if those pins holding the wheels to the bed were untreated steel, aluminum or what. One side of the bed landed on my counter top trim, taking a chunk out. The other side landed on the futon mattress. When I heard the first section snap I froze and thought ahh hell here we go again. Although Derek from Colorado Camper Van is a nice guy and this bed was creatively built I personally haven't had good luck with his work at all on my van. Mechanical stuff has so far been fine but some of the interior and eletrical work not so much. This is my opinion only and I have shared it to this point on this forum with only those who have PM'd me personally with questions.

Luckily by this point my dad was feeling no pain from a great night so we stuck him on the bench seat. He was out before my brother and I even made it to the Futon. Turned out to be a short trip, but one with some scary moments and great memories. As for the upper bed I completely removed it when I got home and it is sitting ready for the trash pickup....and while I will figure out another uppper bed I will have to think and research carefully about who will help on the next one.

Van in front of cabin


Van, cabin and the Dez - Used to be a great hill climb up the mountain until the BLM marked it closed


Cabin


Cabin 2


Gettin ready for dinner


Dinner....guest


Top Bed Close Call


Fail
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

Ouch, glad he id ok!
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

Those look to be garage door rollers - Home Depot or Lowe's. Simple idea.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

Looks like a great place!

If this is a topic for another thread, that's fine; however I'm curious about the bed failure. From what I can see it looks like the rollers and track are from a garage door type setup? How many rollers are supporting the entire bed structure? Does it look like the rollers had a wear groove at the point of failure?
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:29 PM   #5
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

KTMRider...Glad everyone is OK...that could have been very bad...the pictures look like it was great fun while it lasted.

I agree with what Rockbender said that it looks like something had cut the shafts almost like a pipe cutter would thus making them thinner and eventually fail. I have seen a lot of garage doors rollers in my day (one of my good friends was a garage door tech and I used to help him from time to time) and although the wheel part looks like it might be a garage door part those shafts are much larger in diameter, plus garage door shafts are always solid not tubular. That said I think garage door pin/roller might be a good repair choice as a 16 foot wide wooden door is very heavy and those rollers work fine for years, but it might depend on how close they are together and if they would fit into your track you have. I have a feeling that the wheels that you have are fixed to the shafts and that the part that held the shafts did not have any bearings or bushings to make it roll smooth without wearing the shafts. Over time as you opened and closed the bed it was always cutting the shaft a little bit more every time and till it got so thin it snapped. It wasn't a question of IF it was going to fail it was WHEN it was going to fail. No rotating part can be metal to metal without a bushing or bearing of some type as it will always act just like a pipe cutter witch is also just metal to metal. Also it looks as if the part that held the shaft had a small/narrow concentration point which just speeds up the process.

No Matter how mad you are at the bed don't throw everything away until you get it fixed you might need a part of it to make it even better...BTW the van still looks great...
Good luck on your repair....
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

What do the wheels do?
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:56 PM   #7
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

Sorry to hear about the damage Eric. Glad nobody was hurt too bad. So what is that bed supposed to be able to support? I think the SMB beds are designed to hold 500lbs or more.

BTW, nice pics...too bad people have to destroy the old buildings. That really tics me off.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:22 PM   #8
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

Keep the bed just find a new way to mount it and attach it to the van. Put rails on the bed to set on the rails for the wheels. It still can still fold up just not as smooth as it was with the wheels.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:52 AM   #9
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Re: Mojave Overnighter

Created a new thread related to the bed failure and for gathering ideas on creating a new upper bed:
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7766
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